Trade shows are a potentially powerful strategy for increasing your business's visibility and finding new clients. One challenge, however, is that trade shows are generally crowded with lots of distractions. You're competing with many other business owners for attendees' attention.

How do you stand apart and make sure people notice you? Here are some trade show tactics to help you get more attention to your booth.

Market Before the Event

You can get more attention to your booth by promoting your presence at the trade show ahead of time. Some business owners think of trade shows and digital marketing as completely separate strategies. In reality, they work well together.

If you have an email list, tell them you'll be at the trade show. Talk about it on social media. Blog about it. This way, your contacts who are attending the trade show will be more likely to stop by your booth. You can make it even more appealing by sending out coupons or promotion codes that your followers and subscribers can use for discounts on your products.

Give Away Promotional Items

Another proven tactic to get more people to check out your booth is to give away free gifts. This is also a way to get people to promote your business as they'll be carrying around your branded merchandise.

There are a wide variety of promotional items that you can give out, such as pens, water bottles, snacks, tote bags, travel mugs and phone wallets are just a few ideas. Another possibility is to have contests for higher-value items. Naturally, people have to sign up and give you their email address to enter the contest.

Collect Information Efficiently

The main goal of a trade show is to get leads. You can get better results by making it easy for people to enter their contact info. Rather than using the old-fashioned method of pen and notebook, it's far more efficient to use an iPad or tablet.

Ask people not only for their phone numbers and email addresses but also for LinkedIn and, if you do direct mail, physical address as well. After the trade show, follow up on all leads promptly.

Use Quality Banners and Signage

One of the simplest ways to increase the impact of your trade show booth is to have quality custom banners that really stand out. If you're relying on homemade signs or something you printed out from your laser printer, you aren't going to attract much attention.

Using a company that specializes in banner design makes it easier to get noticed. Remember that in a busy trade show, people are passing hundreds of booths. Getting assistance with banner design in greater Chicago or your particular area is often the difference between having someone stop at your booth or just pass right by.

Make Your Booth Interactive

If people can interact with your products in some way, it means they'll spend more time there. This, in turn, will attract others who will want to see what all the fuss is about. This is easier with some products than others, but you can create some kind of interactive experience for almost any product.

If it's anything edible, you can give away free samples. If it's a tech-related product, let people try it out. An interactive screen on a computer or tablet allows people to research any type of product.

If you want to make more of an impact at trade shows, you have to be creative and plan ahead. Every aspect of your presentation should be well thought out, from your signage to the way you collect contact information. When you do attend trade shows, pay attention to your results and think ahead so you can make improvements each time.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.